Author Topic: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC (Black Sea hoard FAKE !)  (Read 2596 times)

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Offline THCoins

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Recently, i aquired this coin for which i had been on the lookout for some time. I had not seen one for sale in this lovely state with these fairly typical characteristics before.

It's a silver, 10 mm and 1.17 grams fitting with a diobol. The obverse shows a Corinthian helmet with transverse plume. The reverse a four spoked wheel with the letters META bbetween the spokes.

There's a quite a story behind this coin. But before i tell that, please you tell me what you think of this coin ??

« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 10:02:56 AM by THCoins »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC.
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 10:06:20 PM »
The sound you heard was my jaw falling. What a museum quality beauty! One of the great attractions of collecting coins is holding such ancient art in your hands. A coin like this illustrates the very best of numismatics. Compliments also for the picture. It makes the coin an in-your-face experience.

You awoke my curiosity in the story...

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Quant.Geek

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC.
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 10:27:22 PM »
You are one lucky dog!  There are absolutely no words to describe this stunning beauty.  Definitely want to hear the background story...
A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins

Offline THCoins

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC.
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2014, 02:04:26 PM »
I waited a few days to continue this thread in the hope to arouse some reactions and possibly discussion about this coin.  However, i had hoped to see some more reactions, for in fact this is a world-famous coin.
However, it is famous for the wrong reasons. This coin has only one problem: it was made in the 1980's in Bulgaria. This was one of the original specimen in a group which surfaced at the end of the eighties from the so-called Black-Sea hoard.

So why did i chose to put a fake at display without telling you directly ?

Over the last months there were a few threads on fakes and forgeries. And judging a picture of of coin of which you know it is fake is different to judging it if you don't know it.
I thank Peter and Ram for giving their unbiassed opinions. And I agree with them fully, this is a lovely specimen. And one has to admire the craftsmanship of the maker. Both people who gave their response have an extensive trackrecord in their experience with coins, and i would regard them as very knowledgeable. This stresses how difficult it has become to judge the genuineness of a coin, even in close-up photos, based on its general appearance, if you are not an expert in the field. In fact this coin almost is more beautifull than the originals, but it is 100 % fake.

I was curious also to find out another thing; would people be enticed by viewing this coin to do some background research ? That's one reason i chose this coin. If you do an internet search on it, one could be able to find out within 10 minutes it is a fake.
Perhaps people did do this research, and may have had doubts after this. Possibly junior members were reluctant to express their doubts in this thread. I hope to convince these people that it ís important to share your opinions and discuss them openly. For that is the only manner in which the collective of collectors will be able to beat forgeries through our combined knowledge.

OK: Am i really sure my coin is fake ? Yes i am. I bought it from a reliable dealer, it was marked as "black sea hoard". I bought it specifically because i had read the stories about these, and thought this would be just an important addition to my collection as an original. (Also it was ofcourse very much cheaper than an original in this condition. Dont forget i'm Dutch, we are worse with money than the Scottish  ;D)
Here are some links to sites with some background info on the original investigation of these forgeries: Overview
The die idential specimen of my coin: is here
Some threads on other forums on these types: here and here
So yes, really my coin is an original fake !

So what are the things which gave this away as a fake ?
- First, and very important factor, was the greed of the forgerers: they made to many coins from a limited number of dies. The emergence of many die identical coins should always lead to suspicion.
- Secondly, The engravers were true artists. But they should not have attempted to improve on the original. A general feature of the fakes is that the helmet looks more like a face than a helmet. The nose plate should descend straight from the level of the forehead part. The forgerers sometimes seem to have tried to mould a nose shape in the face.
The eye sockets in the original look like slits. In the fakes they more resemble eyes with upper and lower eyelids. The faceplate in the originals goes straight down. In the fakes there is a contour in the cheeks which suggests the presence of cheekbones.
Lastly, the hair tassles at the side should hang from the sidecrest of the helmet. In my specimen you can see that on one side these emerge from the side of the faceplate erroneously.

Some people may comment that it is not really fair that i show a fake Greek coin on a forum in which not many people are focussed on ancient Greeks. Don't i exaggerate the problem of recognizing  fakes ? I do not think so.
The well known ForumAncientCoins ís focussed on classical ancients. It has a "best of type" section in which people can show sublime examples of ancient coins. Please look here to compare the "best of type" with mine. I hope you will see that the obverse is die identical with my coin (and that mine looks better  >:D). It has been on display since 2012. Nobody ever made any comment doubting its authenticity  ???.
edit: The coin referred to was removed from the Forum shortly after this report.
So how should a real one look ?
Well, there are some for sale now at the current CNG auction. Like this one here. You now judge for yourself  :)




 
« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 10:02:10 AM by THCoins »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC.
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2014, 11:41:14 PM »
You villain, you! >:D

Actually, you are making some very good points. The only counterpoint I can make is that you are the equivalent of a trustworthy dealer. I'd doubt your coins only when you raised it yourself.

That said, I completely agree that the combination of lethargy and lack of knowledge is a recipe for disappointment in ancients. Unfortunately, the world is full of sad characters, whose greed is larger than their honesty. May they be re-melted. ;)

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC (Black Sea hoard FAKE !)
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 11:39:13 AM »
See lot 31, sold this month for GBP 40.

Peter.
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline andyg

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC.
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 12:16:18 PM »
Possibly junior members were reluctant to express their doubts in this thread.

This junior member only just read it ;D
I have seen some "reproduction" ancients at the dealers and handled them - not being familiar with them I would never have known they were copies.  For something like these I would be much happier with a low grade coin that has seen some life..... even though this is not a guarantee as they can still be reproduced but they are not such a potentially expensive mistake :)
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline Krassi666

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC (Black Sea hoard FAKE !)
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2016, 02:12:29 PM »
Hello,
this diobol authentic or fake?
Regards - Krassi.

Offline Krassi666

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC (Black Sea hoard FAKE !)
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2016, 02:15:37 PM »
reverce

Offline THCoins

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC (Black Sea hoard FAKE !)
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2016, 04:02:40 PM »
It is difficult to judge a coin from a picture.
Though at first sight i have some doubts, your picture is far to small to say anything more conclusive.

Anthony

Offline Krassi666

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC (Black Sea hoard FAKE !)
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2016, 04:31:38 PM »
Thanks for the answer @THCoins. I bought the coin here http://wilkesandcurtis.com/ . Hope coin is authentic.
Krassi

Offline THCoins

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC (Black Sea hoard FAKE !)
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2016, 05:42:40 PM »
That's  a reliable address. That's already one part of a good aquisition.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Thrace, Mesembria, AR Diobol 400-350 BC (Black Sea hoard FAKE !)
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2016, 09:30:22 PM »
Apart from making a larger picture, here are some more things you can do yourself.

TH made some comments on the differences between fakes and genuine coins in details like nose protection, cheekbones and eyes. These are the points that would be clearer with a larger picture, but you can also draw your own conclusions.

Have you followed the links in this thread? They lead to interesting pages with many illustrations that give you a good idea of what to look at. In addition to the points mentioned by TH, look at the shape of the flan.

Please let us know the result of your research.

En plus de faire une image plus grande, voici quelques autres choses que tu peut faire toi même.

TH a fait quelques commentaires sur les différences entre les faux et les pièces authentiques dans des détails comme la protection du nez, les pommettes et les yeux. Ce sont les points qui seraient plus claire avec une image plus grande, mais tu peut également tirer tes propres conclusions.

As-tu suivi les liens dans ce fil? Ils conduisent à des pages intéressantes avec de nombreuses illustrations qui te donnent une bonne idée de ce qu'il faut regarder. En plus des points mentionnés par TH, regardez la forme du flan.

S'il te plaît laissez-nous savoir le résultats de tes recherches.


Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.